The terms “resin” and “filament” are often used interchangeably when discussing 3D printing, but they refer to two different materials.
Most people know what plastic is, but many people may not know that 3D printing can create objects using plastics (like ABS) and rubbers (like PLA).
The difference between plastic and rubber is that one’s a liquid and the other’s a solid, but their chemical makeup isn’t much different.
Is it better to use one over the other?
That all depends on what you’re looking to make. There are pros and cons for both sets of materials, but it ultimately comes down to your preferences. Read on to learn more about each of these commonly used 3D printing materials!
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is a petroleum-based plastic that’s durable and has a higher melting point, which means that it can be more challenging to work with. However, ABS objects have excellent tensile strength – they can resist pulling apart or being torn. If you’re looking for something that’s bendy, durable, and has a high melting point, ABS is your best bet.
Polylactic acid (or polylactide) is one of the most common types of 3D printing material. It’s derived from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane, so it’s more eco-friendly than ABS. It has a lower melting point than ABS but makes up for this by being more bendable. Although PLA is gluten-free and contains no lactose, many people who are allergic to dairy find that they’re also allergic to PLA.
PLA vs. ABS: Which is better?
Both ABS and PLA can be used with FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printers – a method of 3D printing that uses a heated nozzle to lay down layers of melted plastic onto a flat surface. Usually, the printed object will begin as nothing more than a digital file on a computer that’s read by the 3D printer. Once this digital file tells the machine how to print out each layer of plastic, it lays it down onto a platform one thin layer at a time until the object takes shape.
How does PLA vs. ABS stand up to weathering?
ABS is more expensive than PLA, so that you might opt for the more affordable material depending on your project. ABS doesn’t like to be exposed to water (if it’s an outdoor object), whereas PLA can handle moisture better.
ABS will yellow if exposed to sunlight for too long; however, objects made out of ABS are less likely to warp or deform over time because of its higher melting point.
PLA has a lower melting point than ABS, which means it can warp or deform if exposed to heat (like sunlight). PLA stands up well to cold weather; however, some people may prefer ABS due to its increased durability.
Are 3D printed objects made of resin durable?
If you’re looking for something that’s tough and can handle stress, the resin is probably your best bet. However, the resin is much more expensive than Filament – so it’s not something that you’d want to use if you’re looking for something cost-effective.
Resin prints are also time-consuming and may need multiple post-processing levels (like sanding or polishing). These objects can be used both indoors and out. Check out our list of the best resin printers if you want to ensure your prints come out high-quality.
Is resin or filament better for making jewelry?
If you’re looking to make a ring, necklace, or another piece of jewelry, it’s best to go with Filament! It’s easier to work with and won’t cost nearly as much as resin. However, if you’re going for strength or durability in your objects, you could use resin.
What is the advantage of using Filament?
PLA and ABS objects will bend and deform over time. With FDM printing and its layer-by-layer approach to building up 3D objects, this can occur even more quickly – leaving your objects looking warped or bent after just a few days!
Although these materials are both durable, once they lose their shape, they’re hard to fix.
Filament’s advantage is that it reduces this risk of warping and deformation. With filament, you can print something that stays in its proper shape for a more extended period. If you’re looking to make an object using FDM and need it to last (like a toy), PLA may be your best bet.
What are the advantages of using resin?
Resin can be used to make objects that are both strong and elastic. Objects made with resin will have less brittleness, which means that they’re sturdy but can also be bent without snapping.
Objects made with resin also do not need much support – so this material is excellent for beginners.
What resin vs. filament printers are available?
Both materials can be used with either FDM or SLA methods of 3D printing – although they’re typically more expensive than PLA and ABS. Some resin printers allow you to use a light source to harden liquid resin into a solid, while other printers will use a laser to harden resin after every layer has been printed
. However, neither of these printing methods can compete with the speed and affordability of 3D printers that use Filament.
Which material should I choose for my project?
- Indoor objects: PLA or ABS
- Outdoor objects: Resin or Filament (if you want it to be durable)
- Jewelry: Resin or Filament (if you want it to be strong and flexible).
PLA + ABS printers are more affordable than resin printers but can sometimes have issues with warp.
Resin is the most expensive printing material – but produces the highest quality objects.
If you’re looking for a product that will last – you might want to go with resin. However, if you’re looking for something durable and relatively inexpensive – the Filament is probably your best bet.”
Resin has a higher melting point than filament, meaning objects made out of resin are less likely to warp or deform over time. However, 3D printed objects made with resin are much more expensive than those made with filament – so it’s best used for projects where you need strength and durability.
Check out our list of the best 3D printer filaments to use for your next project!
Resin is also ideal if you’re looking to make something used both inside and outside.
On the other hand, filament is better for objects that need to bend (like jewelry). Objects made with Filament are less likely to warp or deform over time – but PLA / ABS objects may lose their shape more quickly than those made with resin.
Filament also comes at a much lower cost, making it great for beginners or if you’re looking to make a lot of objects in one go.